COVID-19 Information & Updates
Below are some of the key highlights from all St. Louis County COVID-19 Updates. Please refer to the Updates on the right-hand side for more information.
October 23, 2020
As the holiday season approaches, be sure to keep yourself and those around you safe by avoid large crowds or gatherings. In communities where there may be events of this nature, please consider the following:
- A gathering refers to a planned or spontaneous event, indoors or outdoors, with a small number of people participating or a large number of people in attendance such as a community event or gathering, concert, festival, conference, parade, wedding, or sporting event.
- The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading.
- The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering.
- The size of an event or gathering should be determined based on state, local, territorial or tribal safety laws and regulations.
- Organizers of any large, public gathering must submit a COVID-19 safety plan to DPH. Unless the plan is approved, the gathering is not permitted. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information and recommendations from the CDC click here.
October 1, 2020
St. Louis County Department of Public Health: Halloween Safety Advice
Wondering how you can celebrate Halloween safely during a COVID-19 pandemic?
Although COVID-19 doesn’t take a holiday, it’s still possible to have fun on Halloween. To help residents assess the risk of Halloween-related activities, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health has produced the following chart. GREEN events are considered safe, YELLOW means use caution, and RED means high risk.
- GREEN (low-risk activities): Home decorating; pumpkin-carving at home; putting on a candy scavenger hunt on your property for family members; watching Halloween movies or playing online games virtually with friends; putting on virtual costume parties (award a prize for best costume!); hosting virtual family get-togethers; leaving individual portions of wrapped candy outside.
- YELLOW (activities with risk): Small group gatherings outdoors, with participants socially distanced and wearing masks; outdoor mazes, with socially distanced and masked participants (avoid screaming, as it can easily spread the coronavirus); drive-through trunk-or-treat events; leaving individual portions of candy on a porch or table outside for passers-by.
- RED (high-risk activities): any indoor gathering; large outdoor gatherings; traditional, door-to-door trick-or-treating; celebrating in restaurants or bars that don’t provide for sufficient social distancing; public haunted houses.
It’s important to note that any large, public event, including block parties, haunted houses and other holiday gatherings, MUST submit a safety plan to DPH and have it approved before opening. Email now to: email@example.com
For more ideas on how to celebrate safely, visit stlcorona.com. Finally, remember that whatever options you choose this Halloween: Stay at least six feet away from others; wear a cloth or surgical face mask when in public (a costume mask is not enough); wash your hands frequently; avoid screaming around others; and HAVE FUN.
September 18, 2020
Adolescents in St. Louis County continue to contract and spread COVID-19, and the data demonstrate that sports activity is a factor in a number of cases.
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health has documented five clusters of COVID transmission among student-athletes linked directly to sports practices or games. Each incident involves a group of high school students. In addition to those cases, we have identified more than 20 student-athletes who have contracted COVID-19 in recent weeks. In those instances, it’s not clear whether transmission occurred at an athletic or social activity. This comes amid a high number of cases among our adolescents – typically defined by medical authorities as those between 15 and 19 years old.
St. Louis County isn’t alone in seeing a link between youth sports and youth cases. In Jefferson County, several high school students who participated in a football game last week have tested positive for COVID-19, leaving one high school to order all varsity and JV team members to stay away from school for 14 days. In college athletics, the University of Missouri football team will have at least 12 players who won’t be able to play in the team’s first game later this month due to COVID-19.
Even professional sports teams like the St. Louis Cardinals are not immune from transmission. The Cardinals have reported that 18 players and staffers have tested positive for COVID-19, and one has lost his life to the disease.
The reality is that games in high-contact sports present a risk of transmission. Players are within inches of other players, breathing, spitting and yelling without masks. Physical exertion entails heavy breathing, which is known to be a vector of disease spread. And related activities such as team huddles, shared meals, team bus rides, frequent carpooling and crowds of spectators further compound transmission risk. Decreasing opportunities for young people to congregate and spread the virus is a priority for St. Louis County, particularly because transmission among young people puts in-person education at risk.
Based on this data and in conjunction with study of best practices across the country, we have divided youth sports into three categories based on the amount of person-to-person contact that is involved. For low-contact sports and for medium-contact sports played by younger children, we are allowing games, with social distancing restrictions. For high-contact sports like football and some medium-contact sports played by older teens, we are not yet allowing games. See our full youth sports guidelines here.
The long-term effect of COVID-19 among children and adolescents is unknown. Alarmingly, studies have begun to show that young athletes who test positive for COVID-19 can suffer myocarditis as a result. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle that can weaken the heart and affect its electrical system, reducing its ability to pump and causing rapid or abnormal heart rhythms (or arrhythmias). Myocarditis is the third leading cause of sudden death in children and young adults.
It's critical to understand that every single person who contracts COVID-19 has the potential to infect multiple networks of people around them. Young people with COVID-19 may spread it to older relatives, friends and those in the community who are more apt to develop serious symptoms – or die – from the disease. Research indicates that adolescents spread the virus just as efficiently as adults. At this time, more than 600 students and staff at schools in St. Louis County have been quarantined because of potential exposures, all while no games are being played in high-contact sports.
Until community transmission in St. Louis County is reduced and until we can recommend that high schools return to in-person education, we cannot recommend resumption of games in high-contact high school sports. All of these decisions have been – and will continue to be - driven by public health department data and lived experience.
The Department of Public Health recognizes the importance of the physical activity and social support provided by athletics. DPH allows – and encourages – individual and team workouts, skill development work and other activities. Participants in many sports are permitted to play competitive games. However, we are recommending – but not requiring – that high-contact fall sports shift to a spring schedule, as allowed by the Missouri High School Sports Activities Association.
Our guidance will continue to change as we closely monitor transmission in the community. We will continue to seek feedback from stakeholders and watch the data with the knowledge that our decisions regarding how and when we resume many activities, include youth sports, could significantly affect the well-being of many residents, not just young athletes. We take our responsibility to protect St. Louis County very seriously.
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health will continue to make decisions to keep our children safe, fight community transmission and encourage healthy activities.
September 9, 2020
Elementary School Recommendations
As discussed by Dr. Page this morning, the Department of Public Health closely tracks new cases of COVID-19 among children and teens and recent data has indicated a steady increase in cases among those 15 to 19 years old. Ninety percent of the cases that have been impacting our schools in the last two weeks, have been in middle or high school. In fact, the rate of new cases in this age group is nearly five times the average rate of new cases among younger children. Additionally, the positivity rate of adolescents who fall in the 15 to 19 year old range, is highest of all age groups at 20%. By contrast, the positivity rate among children aged 5 to 9 is currently at 6%.
Based on our current data, the Department of Public Health is modifying the recommendation for schools that may allow for the consideration of transitioning their elementary school students to in-person education if they determine that is the right decision for them. St. Louis County is not mandating this transition, nor will it set criteria for how this should happen. DPH is simply highlighting the data that currently supports the option for more in-person learning for our youngest students.
The Department of Public Health is aware of all the work that school districts have put in to provide virtual education for their students and understand the difficulties that were accompanied in the process. At this time, DPH urges parents and families to be patient as individual school districts evaluate next steps. There are significant factors that school district leaders will need to consider and plan for, which will dictate if or when elementary students return to in-person education.
DPH has full faith in the superintendents, school leaders, and teachers as they make plans that work best for their students, families, and staff. Even though many may be excited to have students back in classrooms, administrators also understand the disruption and stress that is created if they have to switch back and forth between virtual and in-person education. St. Louis County will remain available to help our school partners.
As a result of our current data, DPH is also not recommending a transition to in-person learning for middle or high school students. As virtual learning continues for these students, DPH will work with our partners to protect and support these students and plan for their eventual transition back to school, as soon as the data supports that decision. It is a unified goal to get to that point safely.
Youth Sports Guidelines
Additionally, the data collected currently supports allowing increased participation for some youth sports activities. The Youth Sports Guidelines for St. Louis County have been amended and a third classification of sports, moderate-frequency of contact, has been added. These amendments are in alignment with some of the recommendations from the St. Louis Sports Medicine COVID-19 Task Force, as well as the most recent recommendations from the State of Illinois. For the new youth sports guidelines, please click here.
September 4, 2020
Missouri residents who may be experiencing stress and anxiety related to COVID-19 may call the “Show Me Hope Line” at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 for assistance. The service is available 24 hours a day throughout the week. For additional information, please click here.
August 21, 2020
Face Covering Order Amendment
Effective Monday, August 24th, the Face Covering Order has been amended to the following changes:
- Requires masks to be worn in educational institutions, public or private, in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12).
- There are a few times during the school day that a student can remove their masks:
- While at recess or in physical education class, as long as students are at least 6 feet apart;
- While participating in band, choir, or music class, as long as students are at least 6 feet apart;
- While consuming food or drink as long as students are at least 6 feet apart; and
- In accordance with DPH’s Youth Sport Guidelines while participating in a school sponsored sport.
- The Order changes the age for children to wear masks in public accommodations from over the age of 9 to over the age of 5 - to reflect the requirement now in schools. If a 5 year old is attending kindergarten they must wear a face covering.
- The Order specifically states that businesses "must" deny entry to customers who refuse to wear a face covering. Modifying the language from “authorizing", to "must deny" entry, empowers the businesses to enforce the requirement.
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health has received many complaints that some businesses are not requiring face coverings. The clarification of this language should not only assist businesses in enforcing the requirement, but also make customers feel more protected. The Face Covering Guidelines provide alternatives to businesses who provide goods or services to those unable to wear face coverings due to a medical condition or those who refuse to wear a face covering for other reasons. A business can provide curbside/delivery to the customer and a business may allow entry if the person is willing to wear a face shield instead of a face covering.
August 16, 2020
Adult Sport Guidelines
As announced by Dr. Page last week, additional guidelines for Adult Sports have been released and are effective today. Similar to Youth Sports, activities are categorized according to how much contact players have with each other. For sports where there is a high-frequency of contact, like football, there will now be similar restrictions as in youth sports.
For high-frequency contact sports, team workouts and practices are allowed with these restrictions:
- Team contact drills are allowed but only in groups of 20 athletes or fewer; up from a maximum of 10 athletes.
- Two coaches will be permitted in addition to the group of 20 or fewer athletes.
- Each group of athletes, not to exceed 20 per group, must remain in a separate, single space from another group of athletes at any one time. Any single space must have a minimum of a 20-foot barrier from any other single space. No person is allowed within that 20-foot barrier, it should be clearly marked and such demarcation shall be indicated by a wall, tape or cones.
These changes allow athletes to participate in drills and allow for workouts/practices to occur in the same athletic complex. As a reminder, NO games or scrimmages, including tournaments or competitions are permitted.
High frequency of contact sports include basketball, boxing, tackle/flag/and touch football, martial arts, rugby, water polo and wrestling.
Also new in adult sports, there are now three classifications. In addition to high-frequency and low-frequency, there is now a moderate-frequency level. These sports also include contact between players, but restrictions can limit the amount of contact the players have with each other. The sports include baseball, cheerleading, rowing, dance team, fencing, floor/field/ and ice hockey, lacrosse, racquetball, soccer, softball, team handball, ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball.
In all sports, regardless of classification, face coverings must be worn any time an athlete not doing vigorous physical activity. Social distancing must be followed when possible and is required when not an active participant. Coaches must always wear face coverings and no spectators are allowed.
If there is any question regarding which category should be applied to a sport, please contact the Department of Public Health. The Adult Sports Guidance in its entirety can be found online here.
August 7, 2020
CARES Act Funding
St. Louis County has awarded $1.5 million in CARES Act funding to the nonprofit CaresSTL for expanded free testing for COVID-19. CareSTL, a federally qualified health center, will test at least 700 county residents per month through the rest of the year at multiple locations, most of them in north county.
“First and foremost I would like to thank St. Louis County for trusting CareSTL Health with the care of their community. We understand the importance of Covid testing. We’re excited that as an agency we can help by providing the test and processing the test results because we have our own CLIA lab to do so,” says Angela Clabon, CareSTL CEO. “The community residents deserves the right to be tested and we’re proud to be a partner.”
This follows our previous announcement that we had awarded People’s Health Centers $578,000 for testing in north St. Louis County. Funding for both testing programs comes from the $4 million in CARES funding that was reserved for testing in historically under-served communities.
Testing is a crucial part of our plan to stop the spread of COVID-19 because it allows us to isolate people who are positive for the virus and to conduct contract tracing to identify others who may have been exposed. For more information, visit www.careSTLhealth.org.
August 3, 2020
Voting During COVID-19
In advance of Tuesday’s election in St. Louis County, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health has partnered with the St. Louis County Board of Elections to improve safety for voters and poll workers.
DPH has provided 50,000 masks, 50,000 bottles of water, 2,000 floor stickers for social distancing and enough alcohol wipes, hand sanitizer and signs for all 200 polling places. DPH experts also have consulted with the St. Louis County Board of Elections on its plans for voter safety. Please remember the following:
- Masks are required in all polling places. Bring your own mask if you can, but if you don’t have one, a free mask will be provided by poll workers.
- Observe social distancing and please stay six feet apart while waiting to vote. Water should be available if you have to stand in line outdoors.
- Any St. Louis County voter can vote in any county polling place, thanks to the Board of Election’s technology. If your assigned polling place is crowded, you may cast your ballot at any other polling location. A complete list of polling places can be found here, or by visiting the St. Louis County Board of Elections website.
July 29, 2020
Paused Re-Opening Order
As noted by Dr. Page on Monday, there are pauses in the reopening order that has previously been in-effect. The latest order is dated July 29 and effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31 will be posted in its entirety on stlcorona.com later today. The following guidance is listed in the order:
- The Order rescinds the Second Amended Re-Opening Order, but maintains all the Guidelines that were promulgated under that Order.
- All Businesses that are subject to capacity limitations are reduced from 50%-25% capacity. This is based on the authorized fire or building code occupancy and includes employees, staff and customers. For example, if a banquet facility's occupancy limit is 100 people, and 25% of that means under this order only 25 people can be present, then they cannot try to claim the gathering limitation allows them to increase the number to 50 people.
- Businesses subject to capacity limitations include grocery stores and retail stores, personal services (hair, nail, etc), churches, funeral services, banquet and conference facilities. A good way describe when capacity limitations apply is when a business offers a service or goods for sale that requires interaction with the public.
- Gathering Limitations are included in this Order. No gatherings of over 50 people are allowed. The gathering limitation does NOT apply to:
a. Businesses that are subject to capacity limitations of 25%
b. Professional Businesses - think offices, legal, accounting, etc.
c. public transit, including airports
e. schools (they have their own plans)
g. daycare and camps
h. polling places
If a business is subject to capacity limitations or the business is already subject to other guidelines (like public transit, daycare, etc.) then it is not subject to gathering limitations.
- Certain Businesses and planned activities, due to the uniqueness of the businesses, must submit a proposed plan to DPH for approval. If a proposed plan is submitted and approved, the business or activity can proceed. DPH will require the business or activity to comply with capacity restrictions, social distancing requirements and other restrictions to keep people safe. Even if approved, DPH has the authority to withdraw approval or change the plans. These businesses and activities subject to this planning process are:
a. entertainment and attraction venues (6 flags, the Butterfly House, the Magic House, etc)
b. Concert venues
c. Mass Sporting events
July 27, 2020
Additional COVID-19 Implementations
As announced by Dr. Page this morning the following seven initiatives will take effect at 5:00 pm, Friday, July 31.
- Only gatherings of up to 50 people will be permitted. Amy group that had its plan for an event pre-approved should expect to be contacted by the Department of Public Health to discuss their specific circumstances.
- Occupancy rules for all businesses will revert to where they were in June at 25% occupancy.
- The Department of Public Health is ordering that all bars close at 10 P.M. every night. The late night and early morning hours are times when social distancing, mask wearing, and avoiding crowds are simply not being followed.
- The Department of Public Health will be finding new ways to make sure all businesses are following the rules — for the safety of their workers, workers’ families, and their customers.
- It is also recommended that all people who are awaiting their COVID test results quarantine until they receive the results. Right now, not all asymptomatic patients have been quarantining, but we now strongly recommend that they do so. It is recommended that employers work with employees to make quarantining possible.
- Action will also be taken this week to ensure that all health providers are getting their results reported in a timely manner. Due to delays, the Department of Public Health issued a Rapid Notification Order. But not all testing providers are complying, especially urgent care providers.
- The Director of Human Services has been asked to help provide a safe places for teachers who need to quarantine. Teachers, virtual or in-classroom, are always important, but in a few weeks, teachers will be the new front-line workers.
Additional details regarding these implementations will be available soon.
July 23, 2020
The St. Louis County Department of Pubic Health, the St. Louis Sports Medicine COVID-10 Task Force and the City of St. Louis have issued this joint statement on youth sports:
The St. Louis Metropolitan Area is in the middle of a dramatic increase of COVID-19 cases and there is widespread transmission of the virus occurring in the community, particularly in the younger population. This unfortunately increases the risk of spread to everyone, particularly when people gather in groups. Furthermore, children will further suffer as this increase in activity threatens the ability of children to return safely to school and to sports this fall.
While the risk of transmission during competitive youth sports games is most likely low, all of the activities surrounding the games increase the likelihood of spreading the virus. This includes teams, coaches and parents gathering before, during and after games and practices, carpooling and other activities associated with participating in sports teams, especially if proper mitigation practices are not in place
For these reasons, the St. Louis Sports Medicine COVID-19 Task Force, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health and the City of St. Louis Department of Health all agree that for now, competitive activities like games and scrimmages should be paused.
Although there have been COVID-19 cases associated with sports participation, it is the significant amount of virus circulating within the community that is the primary reason for having to roll back youth sports activities because they can create conditions for continued spread. The same conditions exist for any activity where person-to-person interaction is high, where groups of people get together for proms, graduation ceremonies or in bars, or where mitigation practices are low.
We all agree that participation in sports benefits young people physically, mentally and emotionally. Unfortunately, because of the significant spread of the virus within the community, these actions, as well as others, are needed until our communities are safe again.
Regardless of these constraints, the new recommendations still allow for physical activity -- such as sports skills and conditioning, both of which will allow our athletes to continue to develop as young athletes -- but in a much more controlled environment. Both the Department of Public Health’s guidelines and the task force’s recommendations contain these measures.
Everyone in the community can help bring competitive youth sports back by consistently wearing masks in public, social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene, emphasizing the importance of disclosing exposures with parents and athletes, avoiding congregating in crowds, including informal gatherings, and avoiding traveling with teams to other areas that aren’t practicing similar measures to control the virus. These measures will help decrease the virus in the community and allow all of us to get back to doing the things we love, such as youth sports.
July 22, 2020
CARES Healthcare Applications Now Open
As previously noted, St. Louis County had asked for community input on how to directly spend $7 million of CARES funding for healthcare. Members of the community responded and ultimately decided that specific healthcare services were needed in the county’s most vulnerable areas, most of them in North County.
St. Louis County Department of Public Health is seeking bids to provide the following services to the community.
- COVID-19 Testing. Funding to increase access to testing including mobile testing in high traffic places (e.g. grocery stores, churches, schools in high burden neighborhoods) and testing for homebound seniors and individuals with disabilities.
- Funding amount: $1.5 million
- Healthcare Services or Programs. Funding to provide primary and preventative care including wellness visits, immunizations, and screenings; Dental care including preventative, diagnostic, and restorative care. Optometry care including routine eye exams, screenings, fitting and prescribing optical aids such as glasses and contact lenses.
- Funding amount: $2 million
- PPE and Supplies. Funding to provide personal protective equipment and supplies including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and home cleaning supplies.
- Funding amount: $500,000
- Mental Health and Behavioral Health Programs or Services. Funding to provide substance use disorder and/or mental health treatment assistance including but not limited to therapy for stress, depression, anxiety and or trauma in person or via tele-health. Psychiatric services may include diagnosis of mental health conditions, medication therapy and medication monitoring (in-person and/or tele-health).
- Funding amount: $2 million
- Utilization of a Healthcare Emergency Fund. Funding to provide for miscellaneous emergency healthcare needs such as health insurance coverage, coverage of co-pays, medical expenses, costs of prescriptions, or technology to facilitate tele-health participation.
- Funding amount: $1 million
Funding to Focus on Additional COVID-19 Testing
St. Louis County also announced an additional infusion of $2.5 million in CARES Act funding to support diagnostic testing for COVID-19. Community Health Centers, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, that have existing COVID-19 testing infrastructure will be eligible to apply for this funding to cover testing costs conducted for St. Louis County residents.
This funding is in addition to free testing available by appointment, for all County residents at the Department of Public Health. Upcoming funding opportunities for innovative testing projects such as mobile testing soon to be available through the participatory budgeting process and more detailed information about the application will be disseminated.
July 17, 2020
Youth Sports Guidelines
Due to a rise in the number of positive COVID-19 cases involving young people in St. Louis County, the Department of Public Health has issued more specific guidelines effective Monday, July 20. Those guidelines, which can be found online here, include the following:
- Youth teams will only be allowed to practice. No competitive play between teams or within teams will be allowed.
- No more than 10 individuals, including coaches, are to participate in athletic activities in a single space, and all participants must remain at least six feet apart.
- No spectators will be allowed during any team or practice session.
In total, 700 youths who have contracted COVID-19 in St. Louis County, and that number rises every day. As the investigations continue, there is data that reflects numerous positive cases stem from attending sporting events, participating in practices, or participating in social activities. Here are a few examples:
- Two local high schools recently reported cases involving student athletes. One of which, resulted in placing 15 student athletes in quarantine while awaiting test results after one athlete tested positive for COVID-19.
- Multiple St. Louis County youths and family members have tested positive after attending an athletic tournament outside of St. Louis County, including a 9-year-old athlete.
- An alumnus of a local high school tested positive after attending basketball practice with current students. Now, 16 people who had contact with the person are in quarantine.
St. Louis County appreciates the full participation of the St. Louis Sports Medicine Task Force chaired by Dr. Jason Newland, which helped us write and revise the order and which not only endorsed it, but issued a separate order recommending the same steps. Any coach or school that learns that a student athlete has tested positive for COVID-19 must report it to the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. and the full order can be found online here.
July 8, 2020
Summer Utility assistance through the Missouri Department of Social Services -Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
In Ameren’s continued effort to ensure awareness of all available utility resources, Ameren is assisting in sharing information regarding the Missouri Department of Social Services -Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Summer funds. Please note that qualified families can receive up to $600 to avoid disconnection. For your convenience, please see the attached the Summer LIHEAP flyer. Feel free to share within your networks.
Also, keep in mind the Ameren Missouri COVID-19 Clean Slate program, which is a program designed to help Ameren Missouri’s most vulnerable, income-eligible customers pay off their past-due utility bills. The program clears the remaining balance on their account after paying 25% of the current balance. Information about the COVID-19 Clean Slate program can be found at AmerenMissouri.com/CleanSlate. Another great partner, Cooldown Missouri has funds available for the elderly, physically disabled, and low-to-moderate income families.
June 26, 2020
New COVID-19 Symptoms Identified
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness and three additional symptoms have been identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those symptoms updated on June 25, include:
- Runny Nose or Congestion
- Nausea or vomiting
These symptoms are in addition to the previous symptoms, which are listed below.
- Fever of Chills
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle or body aches
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sore Throat
June 22, 2020
Youth Sports Guidelines
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health has updated the Youth Sports Guidelines. Playing sports with or against other individuals during this time holds an inherent risk that someone may become infected and, in turn, spread the virus to others in their household or community. Please consider this risk when allowing your child to participate in organized sports.
The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in youth sports settings as follows:
- Lowest risk: Performing skill-building drills or conditioning at home, alone or with family members
- Increasing risk: Team-based practice
- More risk: Within-team competition
- Even more risk: Full competition between teams from the same local geographic area
- Highest risk: Full competition between teams from different geographic areas.
Tournaments are in the CDC’s highest risk category and cannot be played at this time. Traveling outside of the local community may increase the chances of exposing players, coaches, and spectators to COVID-19. Youth sports teams must compete only against teams in the St. Louis area. Click here to download or view the complete guideline document.
June 18, 2020
Long-Term Care Facilities Guidelines
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health has updated the guidelines for Long-Term Care Facilities. The document, found here, provides guidelines for the Residential Living facilities that serve this vulnerable population. Guidelines for the management of patients and health care workers are also highlighted. It is critical to minimize any exposure to these vulnerable populations and imperative that the health care professionals who assist and treat this population are adequately screened before entering these facilities. Facilities employing these professionals as well as the professionals, themselves, must comply with these guidelines.
June 17, 2020
COVID-19 Test Scheduler Available Online
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health is continuing to experience high call volume following the announcement last week of the expansion of testing for COVID-19. Therefore, DPH has developed a sign-up tool for St. Louis County residents to schedule their own appointments for testing.
This is for St. Louis County residents only; it’s important to remember that even if you don’t think you’re at risk, you should still consider getting tested to protect others. The goal is to detect cases among people who are likely to spread the infection. These individuals include those who work directly with the public, such as medical and residential facility workers, grocery store employees, food service employees and other front-line workers. Early detection in those without symptoms will allow us to take steps to reduce further the likelihood of transmission.
Testing is available by appointment only. Scheduling is available online here.
June 15, 2020
Additional Businesses Reopening Today
As announced by Dr. Page this morning, additional businesses in St. Louis County have reopened today, including fitness centers, pools, casinos, and banquet halls at 25% capacity. All businesses that open must abide by the restrictions and guidelines set out by the St. Louis County Health Department. Those guidelines can be found and downloaded here.
Gatherings of any kind are still considered a significant risk. As we move forward, social distancing and masks are critical steps to ensure the health and safety of everyone. Those personal protective measures can be also found here.
June 11, 2020
Reopening Guidelines for Banquet and Conference Centers Now Available
The reopening guidelines for banquet and conference centers are now available online, are effective on June 15, 2020 in St. Louis County and can be found here. These guidelines place restrictions on banquet centers, conference venues, and any similar venue where members of the public gather for meetings or events. Effective June
June 10, 2020
Community Centers and Recreation Centers Guidelines Now Available
Community Center and Recreation Center Guidelines are now available online and can be found here. These guidelines apply to community centers and recreation centers as well as similar occupations and businesses which engage in direct interactions with members of the public. Adherence to these guidelines are for not only the protection of customers in these entertainment venues settings, but also for the protection of employers and employees and effective June 15, 2020.
June 9, 2020
Entertainment Venues - Movie Theaters, Arcades and Bowling Alleys Guidelines
New guidelines for entertainment venues take effect June 15. Adherence to these guidelines protect customers as well as employers and employees. The requirements that together prevent the spread of infections by respiratory transmission (including COVID-19) include:
- Social Distancing – maintaining at least 6 feet between and among employees and customers.
- Monitoring of Employee Health – ensuring that your employees are in good health and displaying no symptoms while at work.
- Using personal protective equipment (PPE) – a face cover must be worn by employees and customers.
- Disinfecting and cleaning – wash and sanitize hand regularly and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces with an EPA-approved disinfectant
These guidelines can be found online here.
June 8, 2020
Behavioral Health Resource
This morning, County Executive Sam Page announced the enhancement of Behavioral Health access by calling 211. During these difficult times, many people are experiencing unfamiliar emotions and navigating through unexpected circumstances. Resources are available to address multiple needs such as housing, utilities, food and mental health. Additional information is also available online here.
Outdoor Drive-In Entertainment Guidelines
The Outdoor Drive-In Entertainment Guidelines are now available online and can be found here. Establishments that wish to have outdoor entertainment with drive-in customer viewing, may do so under these guidelines. Following these guidelines will reduce the risk of spreading the virus among employees and guests. The core set of principles to prevent the spread of infections by respiratory transmission (including COVID-19) include:
- Practice social distancing –maintain 6 feet between and among employees and guests at all times.
- Monitor employee health – check the status of your employee’s health and screen employees for COVID-19.
- Use protective equipment – a fabric or disposable face covering must be worn by employees and guests, except when guests are in their vehicles.
- Clean/sanitize/disinfect – wash and sanitize hands, and wipe down frequently touched surfaces with EPA-registered disinfectant.
June 2, 2020
Additional Guidelines Now Available
The reopening guidelines for the businesses listed below are now available online.
- Gyms and Fitness Centers
- Food Establishments and Bars
- Businesses Restricted by Capacity Limitations
- Youth Sports
- Adult Sports
Additional guidelines for other businesses will be available in the near future, including updates to existing guidance already posted.
May 22nd, 2020
Guidance for Summer Camps
Earlier today, it was announced by St. Louis County and the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, that additional guidance for the reopening of summer camps is now available.
The guidance outline includes the following:
- Logistics for social distancing and hygiene
- Food Service
- Control of Environmental Contamination of camp site and staff/children’s homes
- Use of Playground Equipment
This guidance document is attached and can be found here.
May 14, 2020
Food Resources Available
St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page announced yesterday that $2.6 million from the CARES Act grant was awarded to five community partners working to connect food with families struggling during the COVID-19 crisis. Below is a list of resources and contact information for those in need. Please do not hesitate to reach out or contact for questions. The County’s partner agencies report that up to 75 percent of people seeking assistance from a food pantry are doing so for the first time.
- Operation Food Search https://www.operationfoodsearch.org/
- St. Louis Area Food Bank https://stlfoodbank.org/
- Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis https://www.ulstl.com/
- Link Market https://linkmarket.org/
- Potbangerz https://www.potbangerz.org/
May 13, 2020
Business Specific Guidance Available
Together, in coordination with the City of St. Louis and the Economic Development Partnership, business operating guidelines for the entire St. Louis Region have been released and posted online. The following protocols can be found at stlcorona.com.
- Commercial Office Building Operations
- Restaurant (with dine-in) Operations
- Transportation Services
- Business Office Operations
- Construction, Manufacturing and Repair Services
- Personal Services
- Retail Operations
Individual businesses can ask specific questions about how the guidance applies to their business by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 8th, 2020
Guidance for Businesses
St. Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH) and the St. Louis County Executive’s Office have announced guidance for businesses reopening. The document is attached here.
April 27, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its list of symptoms for the Coronavirus, adding six new possible indicators of the virus. The CDC now recognizes the following as possible symptoms for COVID-19, that may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Previously, the public health institute associated the symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing with the disease, as those are still considered in the list of COVID-19 symptoms.
April 24, 2020
New Testing Location
St. Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH) will begin providing limited COVID-19 testing to County residents with symptoms who meet testing criteria at the John C. Murphy clinic located in Berkley and the South County Health Center in Sunset Hills starting Monday.
DPH currently operates three public-facing clinics where primary care is provided to an average of 35,000 individuals a year, the majority of whom are uninsured. These clinics are located in Pine Lawn (4000 Jennings Station Road), Berkley (6121 North Hanley Road), and Sunset Hills (4580 South Lindbergh Boulevard).
Throughout the pandemic, DPH continues to provide vital primary and acute care at our North Central and South County locations. COVID-19 testing has been available to our existing patients as well as other high risk groups in the County.
The Berkeley and Sunset Hills locations will operate drive-through testing, and will be by appointment only. While DPH’s current testing capacity is limited, the goal is to expand testing in the community by utilizing additional funding as it becomes available. The screening and appointment making processes will begin on Monday, April 27th. If you would like to be screened for an appointment, visit stlcorona.com or call (314)615-0574 starting Monday. Screening criteria prioritizes individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 who have risk factors for poor outcomes or are at particular risk for spreading illness to others if infected.
April 20, 2020
Guidance for Critical Infrastructure Employees
To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises that critical infrastructure employees may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community. Guidance for critical infrastructure employers and employees is attached.
Additional guidance includes:
- Employers should increase the frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces.
- Employers should work with facility maintenance staff to increase air exchanges in room.
- Employees should not share headsets or other objects that are near mouth or nose.
- Employees and employers should consider pilot testing the use of face masks to ensure they do not interfere with work assignments.
- Employees should physically distance when they take breaks together. Stagger breaks and don’t congregate in the break room, and don’t share food or utensils.
St. Louis County Department of Public Health is asking everyone to remain diligent in continuing to wear masks while in public. This simple act helps to keep essential employees, like health care workers, grocery workers, custodians, transportation professionals, and first responders, safe and healthy.
This can be accomplished by wearing cloth masks. This helps preserve the sought after N-95 masks for the healthcare workers and first responders who must work in direct contact with those confirmed to have COVID-19. The CDC notes that homemade masks are not considered PPE, as their capability to protect health care professionals is unknown, but this option is a better option than no option. The CDC has directions for making two types of cloth masks, one that does not require sewing and one that does. Both types can be made out of items found in your home. For more information visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
The CDC recommends the use of cloth masks for those that are looking for alternative ways to protect themselves when going to areas that may prove difficult to practice social distancing, like the grocery store or pharmacy. The use of cloth masks is believed to slow the spread of the virus, while also preserving much needed N-95 masks for healthcare workers and first responders, who must work in direct contact with those confirmed to have COVID-19.
The CDC has directions for making two types of cloth masks, one that does not require sewing and one that does. Both types can be made out of items found in your home. For more information visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
It is important to understand that everyone is at risk of contracting COVID-19. This pandemic will affect all people, regardless of age, sex, race, or health conditions. The CDC identified that “the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.”
According to the CDC, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:
- People aged 65 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness. However to date, data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk
- Other high-risk conditions could include:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
- People of any age with severe obesity or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not /well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services hotline can be reached at (877)435-8411.
St. Louis County has created a website dedicated to the dissemination of information relating to COVID-19, www.stlcorona.com. Please visit that website or those belonging to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) for the most current and reputable information.